Week 9: Can You Reach the Remote?

Apparently, being pregnant can make you lazy. Really, really lazy. As in, too lazy to flip the pages of your US Weekly or tear your eyes away from QVC. I spent the majority of the weekend glued to the couch. I had just enough energy to continue breathing and holding my head upright. (For awhile, anyway.)

But I couldn’t enjoy it. See, I’m the type of person who likes to get things done on the weekends. I had big plans: clean the house, go sweater shopping, work out, buy a pumpkin, decorate for Halloween. Here’s what I accomplished: a cursory cleaning of the kitchen floor, one walk with the dog, and some homemade spinach dip.

I know, that last one sounds ambitious. Let me explain: while I lay listlessly on the couch, I couldn’t help but cast my eyes over the stack of pregnancy magazines on the coffee table. One lay open to an article on nutrition and the importance of iron. Now, I’m a vegetarian. Not big on iron-rich foods, like red meat, to begin with. And these days, broccoli and kale seem about as appetizing as munching on roofing tiles. I began to fear I was starving my poor, anemic embryo of the nutrients he/she needed to grow. Hence, the spinach dip.

Cooking took a lot out of me, though, so I spent the rest of the evening watching reruns of “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Pimp My Ride.” Hey, I’m pregnant. I need my rest.


Week 8: The Sandman Abandons Me

While I may occasionally question my skills as a wife, a friend, and a writer, there’s one area in which I’ve never doubted my abilities: sleep. I am a good sleeper. Great, in fact. I’d even go so far as to say that if sleeping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. I regularly get 8, 9 hours a night. On weekends, I can easily snooze for 10 or 11. My sleep is deep and dreamless, rarely interrupted by bothersome noises or worries. That is, until I became pregnant.

I was horrified to find myself wide awake at the ungodly hour of 4:30 a.m. this morning. The house was dark, cold, and quiet, save for my husband’s peaceful breathing. The jerk. Behind the window shades, I could still see streetlights. No one was up except paperboys and long-distance truckers. And maybe not even them. As the minutes ticked by with agonizing sluggishness, I lay in bed, miserable. Until I had to go use the bathroom – a now nightly occurrence.

How I yearn for the peaceful slumber of pre-pregnancy. I love my bed almost as much as my husband. Truth be told, I miss it more than him when I’m away from home. The bed’s crowning glory is a queen-sized, European pillow-top mattress with just a hint of firmness. It’s covered by high thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, a cozy quilt, and lots of feather pillows. In the winter, a fluffy duvet envelops me in soft warmth. I could stay in my bed all day. That is, until I got pregnant.

My bed is no longer my haven. Now I can no longer sleep on my stomach because my swollen chest hurts too much. Lying on my back for some reason makes me have to get up to go to the bathroom more often. If I lie on my right side, my husband’s hot breath hits me square in the face. So the only remaining position is on my left side, facing the unrelenting glare of the alarm clock. I’ve started covering it with my lavender eye pillow. Might as well use it for something, now that it no longer does the trick when it comes to soothing me to sleep.

So, here I am at 9:45 a.m., already exhausted. Only seven more months to go … until I get even less sleep. Sigh.


Week 7: Fit Mama

Since I’ve always been a regular exerciser, of course I was concerned about being able to keep up my fitness routine when I got pregnant. A lot of people would say it’s vain and silly to worry about getting fat and out of shape when your body is busy creating a new life to bring into the world. I think those people are already out of shape and trying to justify it.

Whether and how to work out while pregnant is a very confusing issue. My doctor was very nonchalant about it: “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” Some of my pregnancy books scared me with tales of miscarriage and split abdominal muscles. My mom laughed at me for doing prenatal workout videos so early in my pregnancy, even though she herself had ordered them for me.

One of them features fitness guru Kathy Smith, circa 1989. As if the big hair and synthesizers aren’t bad enough, the women in the video are dressed in various shades of purple unitards, stretched taut over their huge bellies. They look like Teletubbies. They wear scrunchy socks, perhaps to camouflage their swollen ankles. Of course, Kathy herself is a vision of fitness in her high-cut leotard and flesh-colored tights. You wouldn’t even know she was pregnant except for a slight abdominal bulge when she turns sideways.

The first time I did the video I thought to myself, “This is so easy, I might as well still be sitting on the couch watching Oprah.” Kathy kept advising me to go at my own pace and be sure to stop for a drink of water when I needed to. I felt like saying, “Lady, I can run two miles on the treadmill and barely break a sweat.” But damned if I wasn’t perspiring right along with the Teletubbies by the end of the workout! The shortness of breath really caught me off guard, since as I said, I fancy myself in pretty good shape.

But I can accept exercising in moderation for the sake of my unborn baby. So I’ve stopped running and am sticking to low-impact exercise like yoga. The other tape my mom sent me features a glowing, serene, earth-mother type clad in neutral-hued yoga gear who’s not a bit pregnant as far as I can see. In the introduction, she talks about how she did yoga throughout her labor and gave birth at home on all fours. What-EVER! Her workout routine consists of lots of pelvic rotations and cat stretches designed to help the baby “spiral down through the birth canal.” Sounds a lot more pleasant that kicking and clawing its way out, that’s for sure. Still, I wonder if Yoga Mama was quite so calm and serene when her baby was spiraling out of her with a head the size of a honeydew.

After going it alone for awhile, I decided to hire a personal trainer. I had spotted a pregnant one at my gym. Perfect, right? I figured by the size of her belly she was seven months along, tops. At our first meeting, it turned out she was due in two weeks! Anyway, during our brief time together, Kristin showed me several safe prenatal workouts with weights and balls that I can do throughout my pregnancy. She assured me that she’s exercised since Day One and has felt great. In fact, she’s the first person who didn’t scare me off exercising completely. I appreciate that. Plus, she doesn’t dress in enormous purple unitards.


Sites I Like

Other Mom Blogs

Aspiring Mama
Baby on Bored
Dial M for Minky
hooey!critic (formerly MamaNeena)
It’s Not Like a Cat
Loulou’s Views
Scary Mommy
The Mad Mom
Pineapple Babble
Writing the Waves of Motherhood

Baby and/or Parenting Related

Baby Cheapskate
Baltimore’s Child
The Bump
DIY Father
5 Minutes for Mom
Hybrid Mom
The Parenting Post

Writing Related
Ask Allison
Dollars and Deadlines (Kelly James-Enger)
The Motherhood Muse
The Writer Revived
Writer Mama (archives)
Writers on the Rise (archives)

Ellia Communications: Women Succeeding Abundantly
Go Fug Yourself
Good Vibe Blog
Project Happily Ever After
Rachael Ray Show
Ugly Betty News

What’s New

January 2011:
Register now for the next session of my 6-week online writing class, “Personal Essays That Get Published,” starting Jan. 12! It’s as fun to teach as people tell me it is to take. Past students have gotten published in Chicago Parent, HybridMom.com, The New York Times, and Southern Living. Go here for more info and to sign up.

December 2010:
My essay for Babble.com on being raised in an anti-TV family and how it backfired for me and my kids. Read “The Truth About Kids and TV.”

March 2010:

I attended my first-ever blog conference, Bloggy Boot Camp Baltimore. It was a fun, informative day. Read more about it here.

January 2010:
Gearing up for the next session of my 6-week online writing class, “Personal Essays That Get Published,” starting Jan. 13. It’s as fun to teach as people tell me it is to take. Past students have gotten published in Chicago Parent, HybridMom.com, The New York Times, and Southern Living. Go here for more info and to sign up.

September 2009:
I may be the longest running mom blogger with the smallest (but NICEST!) following ever. I’d like to change that. Anonymous hate mail? PR spam? Bring it on! Just kidding. What I mean is, I’d like to share my labor of love — this blog — with even MORE nice people like you all.

So please nominate me for TheBump.com’s Mommy Blog Awards in the Best Baby Journal Blog category! There’s some good karma in it for you.

August 2009:

I am now a guest blogger for Momversation! Check out my recent posts, “Give Me a Break” and “Me Time in the Real World.”

July 2009:
Just wrapped my May 2009 essay writing class and already 2 students have had their work accepted and/or published! For lots of people, it’s the first time they’ve seen their byline in print and gotten PAID for their writing. Exciting stuff!

If you’re interested in the next session of the 6-week e-mail class, which starts Oct. 7, check it out here.

May 2009:
Exciting news, people: I am now a featured guest blogger for TheBump.com! It’s a sister site of TheKnot.com. Remember The Knot? If you were anything like me, you became addicted to the site the minute you got that engagement ring on your finger. I would spend HOURS debating the benefits of bridesmaid dresses, looking for centerpiece ideas, learning new terms like tussy-mussy … But I digress.

For The Bump, I will be blogging twice a month about the stuff that concerns me now, as a frumpy old wife and mom.

March 2009
I’m excited and honored to have my essay, “Taking Care,” included in this new anthology!

A Cup of Comfort for New Mothers: Stories that celebrate the miracle of life

Popular Posts

Babies Around the World
My review of the documentary “Babies” about 4 infants being raised in different countries struck a chord with a lot of readers. Is the American mom ridiculous? Is the Mongolian mom neglectful? And what makes the African baby so darn happy?

How Does She Do It?
How does that other mom get through the grocery store with 3 kids and no tears? How do you use a public bathroom with a baby? How do you take a shower when your kids are awake and your spouse isn’t home? No, really, HOW?! I want specifics, logistics, diagrams!

In the Thick of It
Life isn’t easy with small kids. You never know what the day will bring — a picnic, first steps, a trip to the ER, or all 3.

8 Reasons I Love Mom Blogs
Man, “mommy blogs” are becoming as controversial as breastfeeding in public! Either you love ’em or you hate ’em and think all us narcissistic, child-neglecting, socially retarded moms should get off our laptops and interact in the real world. Guess which camp I’m in? 😉

Why Milestones Don’t Matter
Look at HER baby — he’s already crawling! MY baby can’t even roll over yet. And look at THAT baby, he’s practically walking! I’m as guilty of competitive parenting as anyone, but here’s proof that milestones have no bearing on how smart/successful/athletic your child will be down the road.

How to Lose the Baby Weight
Want to look like a celebrity mom, strutting around in a bikini mere months after you’ve popped out a baby? Then follow my foolproof “diet and exercise plan.” 😉 But don’t come crying to me if you pass out from poor nutrition and/or exhaustion — I’m no doctor!

It’s Just a Baby Tooth
I don’t know why, but this post about my son chipping his tooth gets tons of search engine traffic. I guess there are lots of crazy toddlers out there diving down stairs and slipping in bathtubs. Read this, and be reassured. BTW, you can barely notice the chipped tooth now that he’s 3.

Pregnancy Butt
There are also a lot of moms-to-be searching for answers to why the hell their rear-end is getting bigger along with their belly! Oh, yeah, people — pregnancy butt is one of those insidious symptoms that no one warns you about. The miracle of life, my ass!

Birth Stories

My first baby took his sweet old time getting here. In the delivery room, we had a doula, 2 mean midwives, and a bazillion doctors trying to get that baby out. It was a circus, I tell ya.

My second baby came much more quickly, on his exact due date. How’s that for impeccable timing? However, I wouldn’t say the second one was easier. Both times, the epidural didn’t work properly. No one warns you about THAT either!

Baby: 165, Mom: 0
The 165 represents the approximate number of nights since my 5-m.o. son was born. The 0 is how many of those I’ve gotten a full night’s sleep. Just to reiterate, that’s ZERO, people. Sleep deprivation is a mean, clumsy bitch.

Arguments No One Wins
So it turns out I’m not the only one clashing with my husband over whose turn it is to clean up the kitchen.

The Saga of the Skinny Jeans
What happens when Oprah influences your fashion decisions as date night approaches.

Perception vs. Reality
Motherhood’s a tough gig, I’m not gonna lie. And just because someone SEEMS to have their act together doesn’t mean they do. That stranger with the perfect body/kids/life may be hanging onto her last shred of sanity just like you.

About Me

Obsessed with birth plans, bouncy seats, sleep and poop? You must be a new mom. I’m here to help. Or at least make you laugh.

I started this blog in 2005 when I was expecting my first baby. It began with a funny e-mail I wrote to my friends and family about how my belly wasn’t getting any bigger yet, but my butt sure was. Soon I decided to post my weekly pregnancy updates online so complete strangers could read about my growing butt and my quest for comfy maternity underwear.

Well, 4 years and 2 babies later, I’m still here. My username is Mom2Miles only because I obviously lacked foresight and I’m too lazy to change it now. Sometimes I write to share a funny story. Sometimes it’s to rant about what’s bugging me. Sometimes it’s to share some hard-won mommy wisdom that may be helpful to someone, somewhere. Along the way, I’ve come to enjoy the dialogue with my readers.

I am a freelance writer by trade, who’s published more than 150 articles in print and online for such publications as American Baby, Bride’s, and Health magazine. I also teach online writing classes. But I’m a blogger at heart. In addition to my own blog, I am a guest blogger for sites including TheBump.com, Momversation, and The Writer Mama.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll come back often and tell your friends. We’re all on this crazy parenthood journey together, right?

Week 1 (Or is it 6?): I’m WHAT?!

My husband, C., and I went away to the shore last weekend for one final getaway before the cool fall weather sets in. We ate seafood at nice restaurants, shopped for souvenirs, and strolled on the beach. And I got sick. Now, I’m rarely ill (for non-hangover-related reasons, that is), so it was strange to find myself, virtually overnight, feeling queasy, stuffed up, and sore. Especially my boobs – boy, were they sore. Too much information? Well, it’s true. And, as I would soon find out, very relevant.

We got home on a Monday and I was so exhausted I went straight to bed. With another trip coming up the following weekend, I knew I had to get well ASAP. So I slept and drank tea and slept some more.

Then, the night before I was to leave, as I was packing up my toiletries, a sudden thought occurred to me: I hadn’t gotten my period this month, had I? You’d think I would know this for sure, since we women are supposed to track these things. But sometimes I get a little forgetful about marking it down on my calendar. I mean, it’s more or less the same time each month, so what does it matter?

Then, in a tiny, dark corner of my brain, a thought started to form: could I be pregnant?

In a way, it was laughable. I mean, we hadn’t even been trying. It had actually only been a month or so that we’d stopped NOT trying. C. and I figured, we’re going to want to have a baby at some point in the near future (since, as people kept helpfully pointing out to us, I WAS over 30 and we HAD been married two years already …). And I’d always heard it could take a while, sometimes up to a year or more. Certainly it had taken plenty of our friends that long. So I didn’t really concern myself with the possibility of getting pregnant right away. Except that now maybe I was.

Anyway, better safe than sorry, I thought, as I stopped by the drugstore on my way home from the gym. But there in the aisle, I had second thoughts. Those home pregnancy tests are expensive! Some of the fancy kinds are $18 a pop. I’m a frugal person; it pains me to pay $18 for a plastic stick I’m going to pee on and then toss in the trash. So I went with the buy-one-get-one-free store brand for $8.99. That way, at least I’d have a spare on hand for when we really started trying, right?

Hubby looked mildly surprised when I arrived home with my purchase. “Really?” he asked. “Huh.” I assumed that he also thought the chances were pretty slim that I was with child. When I came out of the bathroom, I set the kitchen timer for three minutes. To kill time, I asked him, “So, do you think I am or I’m not?” He glanced up from the TV and said casually, “Oh, I think you are.” WHAT?! Here I am, 99.9% sure I’m not having a baby. And C., who knows even less than I do about this stuff, pronounces me pregnant?

Just then, the timer beeped. I walked into the bathroom, picked up the stick – AND SAW A DOUBLE LINE! Just to clarify, that means I AM PREGNANT. (Believe me, I re-read the directions on the box twice more just to be extra sure.) Suddenly, my heart was pounding. My mouth was dry. My eyes grew wide with disbelief. I stumbled out of the bathroom, stick in hand. I showed it to C. “Wow. Congratulations, hon!” he said, in the same tone one might use to praise someone who’d just found a good deal on car insurance. Why wasn’t this a bigger deal to him? I asked. “Well, we were trying, weren’t we?” he responded. Um, yes, sort of, BUT IT CAN TAKE UP TO A YEAR!! Am I the only person who doesn’t think getting pregnant is a one-shot deal?

During the course of the evening, I re-check the stick about 20 times. My emotions ricochet repeatedly from fear to excitement to shock to wonder and back again. I mentally calculate how many cocktails I drank last weekend, and remember the raw fish – raw fish! – I ate. I recall looking forward to sampling the local microbrews and pinot noir on my upcoming trip. Scratch that plan. Thanks to one little plastic stick, my life has changed in the span of three minutes. I’m pregnant. PREGNANT!!

*I instantly went online to research my newly discovered condition. I soon found that answering the question “How pregnant am I?” is not that easy. See, it turns out that medical-types calculate pregnancy in terms of weeks, not months. That whole nine months thing? Wrong. Pregnancy actually lasts 40 weeks, and the countdown begins on the first day of your last period. If you’re wondering the obvious – How can I be pregnant before I’ve even conceived? – let me just say, I don’t get it either. All I know is by the time I found out I was pregnant, I was already considered six weeks along. Damn pregnancy math! It’s more confusing than algebra.

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